Hiking Do’s and Don’ts

Grandview Hike, O'Hara Region

Grandview Hike, O'Hara Region. Photo by J. Verge

Hiking Protocol

– Never hike faster than the slowest person in the group is comfortable with

– Never hike alone. In certain areas, particularly trails around Moraine Lake, you must hike in groups of four or more to protect yourself from dangerous wildlife

– Never hike with an iPod. You will not be able to hear any signs of approaching wildlife, or other groups on the trail

– Do not drink water from any streams or rivers that you encounter, or eat anything that you find on the trail, even if it looks familiar

– What you pack in, pack out. This includes toilet paper.

– Do not throw things out of your car while driving. Even biodegradable things like apple cores can disturb the natural environment.

-When you plan your hike, let someone know where you are going and when you plan to be back.

– Obey all posted signs, and all park officials

– Stay on the trail, and watch your footing. Not only is it dangerous to wander, leaving the trails will create erosion and damage the natural environment.

– Report any damage to the trail to the nearest information centre or wardens’ station, such as washed out bridges and trees fallen over the trail.

– Do not leave open food lying around, it will attract wildlife including bears.

– Take a map and compass, and know how to use them. Know where you are supposed to be hiking (i.e. the name of the trail), otherwise you could end up on a trail you are not prepared for.

– Most people can hike 4-5 km/h on flat ground, but this decreases in hilly terrain. Take this into account when planning your hike.

– Supervise children and pets, and do not let them run ahead on the path.

– Make sure that you time your hike to be out before dark.


– Remember your bear calls

– Dogs need to be on a leash, because they will provoke bears

– Know about local wildlife (check out the wildlife page)

– Never feed the animals (not even the cute little ones)

– Tell other hikers about any dangerous wildlife or signs of dangerous wildlife that you encounter on your hike. Inform wardens about bears.

– Do not stop your vehicle on the side of the road to look at wildlife, especially bears. This creates a hazard for other motorists, and leads to habituation for the animals.

Respect for the Environment

– Do not pick flowers and/or remove rocks and/or fossils from their locations. The Mountain Parks are protected territory, and it is illegal to remove natural materials.

– Glacier water is beautiful, but extremely cold. Do not go swimming in it.

– Show respect for the wardens and other park employees.

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